A year after being sentenced to a 35-year prison term for giving secret documents to WikiLeaks, US army private Chelsea Manning says the military is continuing to deny her gender-reassignment treatment.
In a letter sent to NBC news and released on Friday, Manning says the Defence Department has not followed through with its promises after the defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, approved a treatment plan that includes allowing her to dress as a woman.
“Unfortunately, despite silence, and then lip-service, the military has not yet provided me with any such treatment,” Manning wrote in a statement sent to NBC from Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas. “However, prisons – and especially military prisons – reinforce and impose strong gender norms – making gender the most fundamental aspect of institutional life.”
Manning was sentenced as Bradley Manning in August 2013 for leaking nearly 700,000 documents to the site WikiLeaks. The documents revealed a 38-minute video of an American airstrike in Baghdad that killed two Reuters journalists and wounded children, as well as embarrassing diplomatic cables. Shortly after the sentence was handed down, Manning went public with her gender dysphoria.